What to Expect During a Water Damage Inspection

Author: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Last Updated on

It might be the aftermath of storm flooding at your business. Faulty plumbing leaves you facing serious home water damage. You want to restore your property as soon as possible. You need a professional water damage inspection.

The Water Damage Inspection Process: 4 Essential Steps

It can be the result of fire damages after first responders put out the flames. Severe weather, burst pipes and backed-up sewer lines are also common sources of water damage. Regardless of the cause, an experienced restoration contractor develops his or her assessment with the following four-step damage inspection process.

1. Identify the Water Source

A restoration specialist quickly identifies the source of water damage and stops the flooding. If you’re dealing with burst pipes under a sink, the technician takes care of repairs immediately. If the water source is hidden behind walls or up in ceilings, he or she pinpoints the problem and solves it.

roof leak in ceiling

A flood in the basement after a weather event has an obvious source. A professional inspection can still be a big help. It identifies issues like hairline cracks and exterior drainage problems that contribute to flood damage in basements.

2. Confirm the Type of Water

It’s important to determine the type of water flooding your home or business. If cleanup crews detect any levels of contamination, they factor that into developing a property cleanup strategy.

These three types of water contamination are defined by regulatory and industry standards.

Category 1: White water is free of contamination and usually cleans up easily. It’s often a result of leaking faucets, burst pipes or broken water heaters.

Category 2: Grey water is contaminated, but it’s not highly toxic. The most common sources of grey water are broken washing machines, dish washers and kitchen and bath drain pipes.

sewage water backup

Category 3: Black water is highly contaminated and extremely hazardous. Restoration crews take extra precautions to guarantee personal and property safety during the cleanup process. Natural flood events, toilet backflows and sewage pipe problems are typical sources of black water.

3. Determine the Extent of Damages

Water damage can soak subflooring, wick into drywall and spread moisture into studs and framing. Highly trained technicians use moisture meters and thermal imaging equipment to pinpoint the extent of damages.

They also classify property damage by type so that the information can be included in your insurance claim.

• Pre-Existing Damage: This category covers damages that were present before the flooding event.

• Primary Damage: These damages are a direct result of flooding that affects your property.

crawlspace water damage

• Secondary Damage: The aftermath of flooding often leaves behind secondary damages like sagging sheetrock, warped flooring and unhealthy mold growth.

4. Outline a Detailed Action Plan

This final inspection step gives you an accurate overview of damages. It includes an action plan outlining the restoration process from cleanup and water extraction to structural drying and mold remediation.

A professional restoration contractor will give you an honest assessment of what needs to be done and suggest a working schedule. In most cases, you’ll want to give the plan your approval as soon as possible. Even minor water damage can quickly turn into serious, long-term problems.

Understand Water Damage Inspection Costs

The cost of a water damage inspection varies. The job requires a thorough on-site survey and detailed assessment. Extent of damages and property size factor into the inspection cost.

Understand that there may be also emergency service costs. For example, the technicians might need to repair broken pipes right away. After storm flooding, a damaged home or commercial building may need board-up services.

A reputable restoration contractor will always explain your options and give you a written estimate that includes the cost of water damage repair. Check the company’s website for inspection details. Call the office, and confirm the information.

Be Prepared for the Claims Process

Most property insurance policies cover the cost of repairs, cleanup and water damage restoration. Filing a claim can be complicated, but solid documentation speeds up the process. This is one of the reasons a water damage inspection from a professional restoration contractor is so important.

When you work with a business that specializes in this kind of service, you partner with a company experienced in navigating insurance requirements and paperwork. A restoration contractor can also assist with filing National Flood Insurance Program claims.

Call Our Chicago Water Damage Experts First

When you need a water damage inspection, you want it taken care of by industry-certified professionals. As Chicago’s leading water damage specialists, we bring years of field experience to the inspection process.

chicago water restoration team

You can trust ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for a detailed assessment and honest estimates. We’re at your service and available 24/7. You can always reach our expert staff at 773-647-1985.

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